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  1. #1
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    proximal humerus fracture

    Hey guys, i joined this forum because ive seen multiple people with the same injury as i just had.. but no one has updated their post to tell how they recovered. I did not break mine on a bicycle but on a dirt bike.. ive raced mx my whole child hood from 8 to about 22.. im now 33 and picked it back up a couple of years ago. Well in November as the mx season is done here in Illinois i decided to do an enduro race with my buddy.. thinking to my self. This should be a nice safe day without any jumps and whoops. Lol as i came out of a section of timber was 3rd gear tapped across a grass section to the next trail. I hit a stump i could not see under the grass and the next thing i know im over the bars.. shoulder hurting bad as i got up. Get to the er see the xrays and doc said i need surgery to fix it. To say i was bummed is an understatement. Now im almost 5 weeks after surgery and still have limited movement. Im just wondering how the others recovered as its hard to see the light. This is a very slow healing process and i feel im getting very impatient lol.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails proximal humerus fracture-20141114_232844.jpg  

    proximal humerus fracture-20141114_232905.jpg  


  2. #2
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    so about how fast were you going when this happened?

  3. #3
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    Id say around 35mph or so.. i think is what happened is it just caught me so off guard i had my arms extended out by instinct and took full force.. if i could have tucked them in and rolled i pry would have walked away. It ended up in 4 fractures. The ball got split in half, broke at bottom of the ball, then the upper and lower socket each had a fracture. I have broke my legs 3 times, foot once, wrist once, but have never had an injury like this before. Dr told me surgery went great. He said hardware would not hurt my mobility at all. Only thing that would was scar tissue from the trama of injury and also the scar tissue of him going in there.

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    U know the funny thing is. As i was sitting in the hospital i was thinking to myself. Maybe its time to lay off the dirtbike. Maybe i could get a mt bike and start trail riding.. then i found this site while researching my injury.. you guys seem to get hurt just as bad as motocrossers lol.. injury never bothered me before but now i have a 2 yr old daughter and a pregnant wife. Makes me feel bad not being able to do simple tasks as dishes. Wich is why i think im getting so impatient. . Physical therapy is helping. Im still in passive movement. I was really stiff because i had to wait 2 weeks before i had surgery due to swelling.

  5. #5
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    Wow makes mtb risk pale in comparison.

  6. #6
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    proximal humerus fracture

    I had the same injury, though not as extreme. proximal humerus fracture-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418834496.298191.jpg
    Very similar accident, though not at 35, more like 12 and into rocks. I think I broke the ball in four places and had a piece floating in the socket. proximal humerus fracture-imageuploadedbytapatalk1418835236.778305.jpg
    It's been two years and I really don't have full mobility, but all things considered it's not too bad. I will say that once the cold weather starts to hit I start to have some issues. The joint gets locked up almost like a dislocation and has to be worked out.
    My insurance ran out before I could finish my rehab, maybe that made a difference?
    Stick with the rehab a shoulder is a complicated joint and is connected to all of your upper body. It will take time. What ever you do don't tell your wife that you will give up mountain biking, she'll be pissed when you don't.

  7. #7
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    I had a similar break in 2011.

    Had the front wheel wash out/blow out on a fast DH probably doing 25....left arm went out to help break the fall. Got up and felt discomfort, but knew it was not my collarbone.

    Thought maybe it was jammed or dislocated. After a few days finally went to see the Ortho. X-ray showed a big chunk of bone chopped off the head of the humerus. Based on the location, we decided to immobilize the arm and see if the bone moved anymore. If after 2 weeks it moved, it would have to be repaired. Went back after one week to have it checked on....it moved so it would kit heal on it's own.

    2 weeks later had plate and 9 screws put in. During surgery it was discovered that I had a transverse hairline fracture of the humerus about 4" below the ball that didn't show up in the MRI. So the plate was a little longer than originally planned.

    2 weeks after surgery the staples came out.
    1 week after staple removal, I began passive physical therapy(the therapist manipulated my arm/shoulder around and began breaking up the scar tissue) and range of motion.
    2 weeks after passive therapy, began strength training.
    As soon as I began strength training I began riding my bike again. Flat easy trails.
    Did another 5 weeks of PT to regain ROM.

    Broke it in early August, surgery in late August, was 100% cleared by the Ortho until late January.

    3 years later I have pretty much regain 99.5% ROM. Regained 100% of strength. Other than the 7" scar, I wouldn't really know it had been broken.

    Did a pretty good OTB in a rock garden 4 days before the final X-ray with the Ortho....scared me at first, but was fine.

    I was told when I injured mine, that usually you break the bone or tear the rotator cuff...so fortunately there was no soft tissue damage.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

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    that's what I like to hear are some facts on how you guys got through this and the final out come. That is very positive for me to hear you say your at 99.5% rom. I don't think I occurred any soft tissue damage from the crash but the surgeon said he did a lot of soft tissue work on me to get the bones back together. im doing physical therapy now but I have already been doing passive for 2 weeks now.. and I probably have atleast another 2 to 4 weeks to go on it. im doing everything the therapist has me doing. I hear you guys on the insurance too. I just got my deductible and out of pocket met just for it to restart in January.. so I guess I will have to meet it again for my therapy.. wich brings me to another thing id like to point out.. I have Aflac accidental and short term disability insurance.. its been a life saver.. they have asked zero questions and pays well. got a check for 3150$ just for my surgery... my health insurance deductible is 1000$ and my out of pocket is 2500$ so just that check almost paid my hospital bills.. The Aflac is well worth it for anyone looking for extra coverage.


    as u can see my ball was a mess!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails proximal humerus fracture-20141103_191635.jpg  


  9. #9
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    Well, if you're gonna do it, do it right!!!

    I'm currently recovering from a surgery in the same area. I had a Bankart Lesion/repair, which involves some screws to reassemble the glenoid, which is the bone structure on the opposite side of the humorous. Essentially, the golf tee that the humorous sits in.

    For me, rehab has been a slow process. I had the surgery in August, and it went really well, about a month or so later, started ROM/physical therapy, and that was going really well, the PT's were really impressed with how quickly I was getting my ROM back, so that made me feel pretty good.

    A couple of months ago, I reached my arm across my body, grabbed a small item, and then moved my arm back, and my tendon instantly hurt like hell. It was the first time anything like that happened since I started the recovery process and it scared me. After talking with my PT, he advised I take some time off of stretching and exercising. I took two weeks off, and that time set me back a couple of months in terms of flexibility. I'm still dealing with some swelling in that same tendon, so I have to be careful and mindful about my movements. It's part of a vicious circle: I need the tendon to do the exercises, but the muscles aren't strong enough to do the exercises, so the tendon gets swollen because it's being overworked, rinse and repeat.

    It's been a slow process for sure. The shoulder is the most complicated joint in the body, and unlike the hip, the shoulder relies completely on the tendons and muscles to keep your arm from falling off of your body, the joint doesn't lock together.

    Now, I have nearly complete ROM and I'm still doing my PT every day. I'm cleared to ride my bike, but I know that I'm not ready to ride any advanced trails yet.

    My advice, be patient and don't rush the process, do EVERYTHING your PT tells you to do, when he tells you to do it. Go slow on the exercises. Be prepared for some setbacks. Keep your doctor and PT informed of any changes. DO NOT push through the pain, you aren't getting paid a penny to play through the pain, or to show up on "game day." For something like this, it's sooo important to listen to your body and your shoulder.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the advice pulpwoody.. yeah my physical therapist all ready said to me she usually worries about her patients not doing there home exercises, ans she told me shes scared im going to overwork myself and do more damage lol.. im still fighting swelling too. If i lay around all day with ice the swelling goes down but muscles get super tight . And if i stretch all day muscles are looser but then the swelling flares up and limits movement. . It is a viscous cycle.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by spence648 View Post
    Thanks for the advice pulpwoody.. yeah my physical therapist all ready said to me she usually worries about her patients not doing there home exercises, ans she told me shes scared im going to overwork myself and do more damage lol.. im still fighting swelling too. If i lay around all day with ice the swelling goes down but muscles get super tight . And if i stretch all day muscles are looser but then the swelling flares up and limits movement. . It is a viscous cycle.
    As a last resort, Cortisone shot. I got one last week, helped tremendously. didn't totally eliminate the problem, but it got way better.

  12. #12
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    proximal humerus fracture

    I too got a steroid shot last December and it helped a ton through the cold months when I have the most problems. I'm due for another.

  13. #13
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    Thats something ill definitely keep in mind for the future but right now its only been 5 weeks since my surgery. . My next dr appointment is on the 31st so we will see if i get released for active therapy or stick with the passive.. i still have very limited movement though in some positions. . I dont know how to explain it in words but one movement i have 7 out of 90... its where the ball turns in the socket if that makes sense

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by spence648 View Post
    Thats something ill definitely keep in mind for the future but right now its only been 5 weeks since my surgery. . My next dr appointment is on the 31st so we will see if i get released for active therapy or stick with the passive.. i still have very limited movement though in some positions. . I dont know how to explain it in words but one movement i have 7 out of 90... its where the ball turns in the socket if that makes sense
    I found that I had a breakthrough during PT when I was out on a ride and I was able to reach back and grab something out of my jersey pocket. I was concerned that motion would not come back.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

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